When we look for superfoods, often we focus on fruits and vegetables and carelessly spit out and discard the seeds and pips. This is often a mistake – and particularly in the case of pumpkin seeds which have been shown to have a vast range of different health benefits. Here we will look at what some of those are.
Pumpkin seeds contain ‘L-tryptophan’ which has been shown to be an effective and natural antidepressant. Tryptophan is also found in milk, but it takes only a gram of pumpkin seeds to get as much tryptophan as an entire glass of milk.
Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc and this makes them a good way to combat osteoporosis which is linked to low intake of zinc.
Another powerful effect of zinc is to help improve and regulate a strong sense of smell.
Zinc along with magnesium is useful in increasing testosterone levels and sperm count in men. Pumpkin seeds happen to contain both. As testosterone is an anabolic hormone that encourages both weight loss and muscle growth this might well be a useful thing to add to the diet of bodybuilders.
Pumpkin seeds have been shown to be effective in preventing inflammation.
Pumpkin seeds are of course high in fiber. This means that they can help to reduce cholesterol and blood pressure and improve digestion. They can also encourage healthy bowel movements and prevent constipation and for this reason they are often recommended for cats and dogs.
At the same time pumpkin seeds are also a good source of protein which is useful for rebuilding tissue and muscle.
As mentioned, pumpkin seeds can be useful in combating cholesterol due to their high fiber content. However this is also further improved by the inclusion of phytosterols.
Try them roasted for a great tasty snack which is also clearly very healthy!